Leader Paper Products buys south side warehouses to expand

Leader Paper Products has been in Walker's Point since 1920.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:59 pm

Leader Paper Products, Inc., has purchased two warehouse buildings, with a total of 202,875 square feet of space, on Milwaukee’s south side for $6.75 million, leaving the future of its presence in the city’s Walker’s Point neighborhood uncertain.

Leader Paper Products has been in Walker's Point since 1920.
Leader Paper Products has been in Walker’s Point since 1920.

The 116-year-old family-run manufacturing business has outgrown its 134,000-square-foot location at 901 S. 5th St., and Scott Wilke, president and CEO of Leader Paper Products, has been looking for space for about three years.

The move to 5111 S. 9th St. will provide the company with room to grow, but not right away. There is currently 79,000 square feet available in the space. RR Donnelley and an affiliate of CVS are tenants with two- and 10-year leases.

The property also has room for an expansion.

Wilke said he needs to take some time to figure out if he will move part of his business to 9th Street immediately, expand the property or wait.

“We closed on Monday and this is an entirely new experience for me,” Wilke said. “I’ve been trying to get my head around property management issues and it’s going to take a couple years to plan this all out.”

The property was purchased from Chicago-based Icon Mars Property Owner Pool 2, LLC. It includes two warehouse buildings. A two-story building built in 1973 and a one-story building built in 1984, according to city records.

It is assessed by the city of Milwaukee for $7.2 million.

Wilke said the next step will be to ask the city’s Redevelopment Authority to consider designating the property on 9th Street blighted this month, so Leader Paper Products can apply for financial assistance.

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